Toyota Australia just announced one hour ago it is set to cease local manufacturing in 2017, spelling the end of carmaking in Australia. In a press release, the Japanese carmaker announced “Together with one of the most open and fragmented automotive markets in the world and increased competitiveness due to current and future Free Trade Agreements, it is not viable to continue building cars in Australia. This is devastating news for all of our employees who have dedicated their lives to the company during the past 50 years.” Toyota Australia President and CEO, Max Yasuda told staff.
“We did everything that we could to transform our business, but the reality is that there are too many factors beyond our control that make it unviable to build cars in Australia. Although the company has made profits in the past, our manufacturing operations have continued to be loss making despite our best efforts.” The Altona, Victoria plant is currently producing the Camry, Camry Hybrid and Aurion for the local and export market, with the production figure standing at just 104,000 cars for 2013.
This news comes only months after both Ford (last May) and Holden (last December) announced they would pull out of manufacturing in Australia, writing Australia off the list of car manufacturing countries from 2017 onwards. I predicted this domino effect in my previous articles Holden pulls out: this is the end of Australian car manufacturing, Australia: What the press is saying about Holden leaving and Australia: Is the end of local manufacturing near?. Australia had been making cars for 66 years.
Previous Australia car manufacturing posts:
Ford pulls out of Australia (23 May 2013)
Australia: Is the end of local manufacturing near? (25 June 2013)
Holden pulls out: this is the end of Australian car manufacturing (11 December 2013)
Australia: What the press is saying about Holden leaving (12 December 2013)